Sunday, March 23, 2014

Make Your Own Dazzling Wand for the Cat

Some pets know how to play hard.

A killer of tassels…

Maus has chewed through the expensive wand toys I've picked up for her over the years. It takes her virtually no time at all to destroy them. I'm assuming mine is not the only fuzzy bunny-head with that kind of destructive talent.

With that in mind, I thought I'd share with you my ultra-cheap, and ultimately satisfying (for both of us) solution: wrapper-fringe wands.

I started with breakfast:

Le Package du munchables.
I'm just a little CDO (for the uninitiated, that's just like OCD, only in correct alphabetical order). When I open any package, I do my best to keep the wrapping undamaged. It's a little tricky, sometimes, but with most of these items, there's a way to pull the seal apart at one end, then gradually work open the rest of the wrapper. If I fail, I grump and growl and throw the whole thing away in a fit of pique. When I succeed, I save it for future projects.

If you don't feel like handling everything delicately, you can probably use scissors to trim it open, though I, personally, would have to throw that away.

I have about 20 of these, right now, washed and being pressed in a drawer. That's about 40% of my work.

But I digress. 

Wrap-a-wrap-a-wrap, they call me the wrapper…
Anyway ––

Once the wrapper's completely opened up, I rub away any and all adhesive which may remain on it, and then wipe it down with a Clorox- or other-saturated cleaning cloth to remove any other residue, so that I have a clean start (no chocolate for the wee beastie).

Sometimes, you may receive active, participatory supervision.

With a pair of scissors (or, on a cutting board with a rotary blade), I cut strips to within about 1 1/2 inches  of the top of the sheet, at about 1/8-inch intervals (it's not all that important that they be even in width, or that they all be super-thin, but I like to use the serrated cut at the end of the wrapper to gauge how wide my strips will be).

Que serrate, serrate…
A word of advice on this particular stage of the project: don't start it when you're all wired and wound up for action. Slicing requires a somewhat steady hand and the ability to approach that zen state. A good wand needs at least three wrappers turned to fringe.

Flashback to the wardrobe of my youth…

If you are following along, you will also need a straight stick. I use long cheap wooden chopsticks.

This is not a magic wand. But don't tell the cat.

I take a tab of handy-dandy tape and attach it to one corner of the first sheet of fringe, then attach that to the end of the stick, wrapping around tightly. Then I take the next sheet of fringe, repeat, and do the same with the third sheet of fringe. When that is done, I give it a little pull downward so that there is a little bit of each layer showing beneath the next, in a faint spiral. This is so that the top layer of tape will grip each, if only a small amount. (It isn't crucial, but it will make the base of the tassel more durable).

The I wrap tape around the top of the fringe tassel two or three times, to give it stability. Then, using a piece of tape about 6 to 8 inches long, I begin to wrap in a spiral up the stick. (Give the tape a good amount of pressure as you apply it, and then rub it down into place once it's all wrapped.)

Then, I find the wee beastie and wave the toy around. It makes a spiffy rustle, and, even if the cat isn't in the mood at that moment for an assault on glitter, I can still pretend to be a fairy godmother…

It didn't take her long to turn her first one into a tattered tangle.

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